Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review - Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth, takes up where the first book of the trilogy, Divergent, left off. After the main character, Tris, successfully switched factions from Abnegation to Dauntless and snagged cute boyfriend Tobias/Four, a revolution happened so quickly she wasn't able to enjoy any of it. In the course of the revolution Tris lost both her parents, and was forced to shoot and kill her buddy Will, who was under mind control at the time. Bummer.

So Tris is now dealing with loss, grief, guilt, and an inflated sense of responsibility. At every turn, Tris is forced to do stuff no sixteen-year-old should have to do, because her divergent mind makes her uniquely qualified for jobs, missions, and science experiments where she's the subject. This puts a strain on her relationship with Tobias, and she's constantly risking her life and questioning who of her remaining friends and family she can trust. The book builds towards a suspensful end with new revelations, and plenty of questions to be answered in the third installment.

I didn't like this book as much as I liked Divergent. There was too much going on, and so many minor characters with comings and goings; it was hard to keep track of them all or to feel involved. I also started  to feel resentment that the Erudite were vilified to such an extent - there seemed to be a real anti-education bias. However, as the book went on, it became clear that part of the point is that none of the factions are truly good or truly evil, and everyone has altier motives. Beatrice's (Tris) journey is partly about coming to terms with the flaws of society, and learning how to overcome them.

In the end I'm glad I read Insurgent, and I do reccomend it. I'm sure I'll also read the third installment. Plus, young adults love it. My students were very excited about both books, and really, they are the intended audience.

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